Might as well start talking about 2021

Papelbon's Poutine

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Strongly suspect we'll see 2021 season without any major deals being signed (biggest likely to be JBJ for a 2 year $25M) with an eye towards the midseason to decide if they will be buyers or sellers again (parts like Chavis, Arroyo, Benintendi, Martinez)...... but I suspect 2022 will be the arrival of the next 5 year wave.
Disagreed but all fair. They have plenty of money coming off books and the "woe is me, the Sox are now cheap because they traded Betts" trope is tired. They will spend what they can, it's just a matter of being smart/dumb and who is out there. They add Bauer and everyone regresses to the means, they're right back in the mix.

Edit: Obviously Sale is a huge ?, but I suspect ERod would have been ok to go had it been a normal season; frankly I think they just told him it was a wash when he got sick, but thats just mho)
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Disagreed but all fair. They have plenty of money coming off books and the "woe is me, the Sox are now cheap because they traded Betts" trope is tired. They will spend what they can, it's just a matter of being smart/dumb and who is out there. They add Bauer and everyone regresses to the means, they're right back in the mix.

Edit: Obviously Sale is a huge ?, but I suspect ERod would have been ok to go had it been a normal season; frankly I think they just told him it was a wash when he got sick, but thats just mho)
Are you unaware of ERod's diagnosis? The only way he's "ok to go" had it been a normal season is by the fact that he wouldn't have contracted COVID at all. He had (has?) myocarditis. Doctors only just cleared him to start walking last week. This wasn't a case of "oh, it's a lost season, take some time off". He was in no shape to pitch.

Until they see him in spring training showing no ill effects from the myocarditis, he's a big question mark.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Are you unaware of ERod's diagnosis? The only way he's "ok to go" had it been a normal season is by the fact that he wouldn't have contracted COVID at all. He had (has?) myocarditis. Doctors only just cleared him to start walking last week. This wasn't a case of "oh, it's a lost season, take some time off". He was in no shape to pitch.

Until they see him in spring training showing no ill effects from the myocarditis, he's a big question mark.
Then mea culpa. I'm aware of his diagnosis, but myocarditis comes in many different levels. I didn't realize he was that bad he only just started walking.

Regardless, I don't see why they wouldn't be in on Bauer, they need SP. Worst case they can flip him.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Then mea culpa. I'm aware of his diagnosis, but myocarditis comes in many different levels. I didn't realize he was that bad he only just started walking.

Regardless, I don't see why they wouldn't be in on Bauer, they need SP. Worst case they can flip him.
Oh, I'm all aboard the one-year-of-Bauer train. Bauer fronting an rotation that includes Eovaldi, Perez, maybe ERod, Houck, and Pivetta then adds Sale mid-year? Sign me up. That takes the pressure off Sale and ERod to rush back, and it takes the pressure off Houck and Pivetta to be full on contributors when they might be better served to only throw 140-150 innings at most (each).

And like you say, if it goes bad...flip him.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Oh, I'm all aboard the one-year-of-Bauer train. Bauer fronting an rotation that includes Eovaldi, Perez, maybe ERod, Houck, and Pivetta then adds Sale mid-year? Sign me up. That takes the pressure off Sale and ERod to rush back, and it takes the pressure off Houck and Pivetta to be full on contributors when they might be better served to only throw 140-150 innings at most (each).

And like you say, if it goes bad...flip him.
Yeah sounds like we are same page, just got wires crossed and I honestly have paid almost zero attention this season so I wasn't aware it was that bad.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Yeah sounds like we are same page, just got wires crossed and I honestly have paid almost zero attention this season so I wasn't aware it was that bad.
Alright.... I've been convinced. The one year Bauer deal would seem pretty good. The lineup at the end of the year was starting to really look potent- plug in a return to form from Martinez and Benintendi (I was really optimistic that he was going to turn into his full potential this past "season", now I'm not so confident he's anything worth holding onto) and yes... the team could easily be a 95 win team... while still putting itself into the position of being deadline sellers to address a long term vision of competition and success. While the "teens" (what do you call the past decade...?) brought two WS victories... it also brought some horrifyingly terrible teams. It'd be nice to have the consistent competitiveness of Tampa but also the WS victories rather than the all or nothing.
I still think inking Devers to a long term contract should be priority number one. He's proven he'll be worth it now.
 

CapeCodYaz

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Disagreed but all fair. They have plenty of money coming off books and the "woe is me, the Sox are now cheap because they traded Betts" trope is tired. They will spend what they can, it's just a matter of being smart/dumb and who is out there. They add Bauer and everyone regresses to the means, they're right back in the mix.

Edit: Obviously Sale is a huge ?, but I suspect ERod would have been ok to go had it been a normal season; frankly I think they just told him it was a wash when he got sick, but thats just mho)
they gotta spend on some quality pitching--with that they can hang with the Yankees and Rays
 

chawson

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Has Bauer affirmed his preference for one-year deals anytime in the last six months? Who can say with that guy, but I doubt he’d take 1/$35 from the Sox or whoever over 6/$150 in the middle of a pandemic. Anyway, it seems like the fewer the years you sign him for the sillier it is to give up a draft pick. His personality seems like a terrible clubhouse fit, especially with a new (or returning) manager. (Read more on that here.)

I think our rotation next year is something like this:

Sale
Musgrove/Carrasco
E-Rod
Eovaldi
Pivetta
(Houck if he’s not traded, cheap FA signing like McHugh/Chatwood, Mazza, Mata, Seabold, etc.)

I’d send Pérez to a cost-conscious team. Send Chavis, Chatham, and maybe Houck to Pittsburgh for Musgrove and Polanco. Offer E-Rod a one-year extension and hope he rebounds. See if you can pry Carrasco from Cleveland, who could be on the move with their payroll concerns after McKenzie, Quantrill and a steady supply of solid pitching prospects have stepped into their rotation. Carrasco has 2 years at $11.75M AAV left on his contract and a reasonable $14M option and came back pretty strong last year. Maybe that’s worth Benintendi?
 
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Papelbon's Poutine

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Has Bauer affirmed his preference for one-year deals anytime in the last six months? Who can say with that guy, but I doubt he’d take 1/$35 from the Sox or whoever over 6/$150 in the middle of a pandemic. Anyway, it seems like the fewer the years you sign him for the sillier it is to give up a draft pick. His personality seems like a terrible clubhouse fit, especially with a new (or returning) manager. (Read more on that here.)

I think our rotation next year is something like this:

Sale
Musgrove/Carrasco
E-Rod
Eovaldi
Pivetta
(Houck if he’s not traded, cheap FA signing like McHugh/Chatwood, Mazza, Mata, Seabold, etc.)

I’d send Pérez to a cost-conscious team. Send Chavis, Chatham, and maybe Houck to Pittsburgh for Musgrove and Polanco. Offer E-Rod a one-year extension and hope he rebounds. See if you can pry Carrasco from Cleveland, who could be on the move with their payroll concerns after McKenzie, Quantrill and a steady supply of solid pitching prospects have stepped into their rotation. Carrasco has 2 years at $11.75M AAV left on his contract and a reasonable $14M option and came back pretty strong last year. Maybe that’s worth Benintendi?
Lol, did you specifically pick six months because he just did it seven months ago? https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2019/02/14/trevor-bauer-indians-contracts-free-agent/2874691002/
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Has Bauer affirmed his preference for one-year deals anytime in the last six months? Who can say with that guy, but I doubt he’d take 1/$35 from the Sox or whoever over 6/$150 in the middle of a pandemic. Anyway, it seems like the fewer the years you sign him for the sillier it is to give up a draft pick. His personality seems like a terrible clubhouse fit, especially with a new (or returning) manager. (Read more on that here.)

I think our rotation next year is something like this:

Sale
Musgrove/Carrasco
E-Rod
Eovaldi
Pivetta
(Houck if he’s not traded, cheap FA signing like McHugh/Chatwood, Mazza, Mata, Seabold, etc.)

I’d send Pérez to a cost-conscious team. Send Chavis, Chatham, and maybe Houck to Pittsburgh for Musgrove and Polanco. Offer E-Rod a one-year extension and hope he rebounds. See if you can pry Carrasco from Cleveland, who could be on the move with their payroll concerns after McKenzie, Quantrill and a steady supply of solid pitching prospects have stepped into their rotation. Carrasco has 2 years at $11.75M AAV left on his contract and a reasonable $14M option and came back pretty strong last year. Maybe that’s worth Benintendi?
Houck should be untouchable at this stage, particularly if the return is a good but (relatively) expensive pitcher with fewer years of control. I don't think Bloom should be trading away one of the better young pitching prospects to come through the system in the last decade. Not when the biggest problem with this team is how expensive and aging the rotation is at present.

I think it's a much bigger leap to think that the Sox have the prospects to "pry" Carrasco from Cleveland and/or get Musgrove and Polanco from the Pirates, than it is to believe a one year deal for Bauer is realistic. Now is when they should be hoarding prospects, not shipping them off for short-term gains.
 

chrisfont9

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I think it depends entirely on who's on the market and where Bloom and company see the team going whether they surpass the luxury tax threshold next year. I don't see them going after Stroman or any other starter that will cost significant money and years. At some point they have to stop throwing money down that well...at least until some/all of the guys they've already signed (Eovaldi, Sale, Price) are off the payroll.

If they see themselves as contenders for 2021 with a few tweaks and additions, I don't think they hesitate to exceed $210M. If they think they're still a year away, I can see them keeping their powder somewhat dry and skipping on a big expenditure. Either way, I definitely don't expect there's going to be much money spent on the bullpen. That's a "toss stuff against the wall and see what sticks" situation, not a "buy the best free agent available" one.
I suspect they won't be too excited to cross that threshold in free agency unless there's a pretty compelling reason. It wouldn't hurt to save some of that room for in-season trades. Not that it re-sets every five minutes, but we might get a better veteran in a trade later on who would count toward the next winter's cap.

Anyone want to dip their toes in the LeMahieu if he hits free agency? Or do we just assume Arroyo for now and eventually Downs is the future at that spot. i assume he is re-signing in NY anyway.
LeMahieu is 32, so unless he takes a pretty short deal, someone is paying for his age-36+ seasons. It's not unreasonable, even if he moves to DH sometimes. But it's not a great fit unless we really think the window is all the way open again in 2021.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I used “six months” as shorthand for the pandemic, which I stated in the next line.
My apologies, reading comprehension was off this morning, lack of sleep. I'm not sure how it relevant though, if you read his rationale and assume that either A) we'll be nearing the end but the time he signs (god willing) as I don't see many teams doing that kind of stuff until we're coming out of this or B) the second part of that again, he's not a prime GRADE A level guy that a team would take the risk on, pandemic or not. Betts? Sure, if you're willing to spend that type of money, but he's not a Cole or DeGrom that you say "risk be damned" and sign him that long either way at those kind of numbers. He'll be a 30yo with a career 3.96 xFIP. I could very certainly be wrong, but I don't think a guy with his mindset is holding out for that.
 

chawson

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Houck should be untouchable at this stage, particularly if the return is a good but (relatively) expensive pitcher with fewer years of control. I don't think Bloom should be trading away one of the better young pitching prospects to come through the system in the last decade. Not when the biggest problem with this team is how expensive and aging the rotation is at present.
This is fair. I'm not a huge believer in Houck and think there's some helium after those three starts that will fizzle out once teams learn not to chase. I could be wrong.

I think it's a much bigger leap to think that the Sox have the prospects to "pry" Carrasco from Cleveland and/or get Musgrove and Polanco from the Pirates, than it is to believe a one year deal for Bauer is realistic. Now is when they should be hoarding prospects, not shipping them off for short-term gains.
It wouldn't be so much the prospects as Bloom's payroll room doing the heavy lifting. I think the Sox are well poised to take on salary from small market teams who may be cutting costs in the pandemic, and especially if they teams believe they can spare a few expected wins and still make the playoffs in a new format.

If I'm reading that correctly, there'll be a greater pool of available players this winter, with some exclusively available to teams with payroll room to absorb their or another teammate's bad contracts. Trading for pitching also circumvents the task of convincing a free agent that we're going to be competitive in 2021, let alone outbidding. So guys like Musgrove, Carrasco, Marquez, and Jon Gray [edit: forgot he's hurt] come to mind, but there are other possibilities where less expensive pitchers are pinned to well salaried position players.

About Trevor Bauer, I admit he's not my type of guy. But that aside, I don't understand why people are overlooking his character issues. We just spent four years where half the fanbase was howling about Price -- by all accounts a good teammate -- for his relationship to the media. By contrast, Bauer has a pretty well documented track record of being a bad teammate, along with a climate change skeptic, a guy who's taken shots at Chris Sale, and who once spent a day harassing a college woman on Twitter. He's a good pitcher but I don't see how it's worth it.
 
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JBJ_HOF

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Houck should be untouchable at this stage, particularly if the return is a good but (relatively) expensive pitcher with fewer years of control.
Could not disagree more. If you get a surer bet, even with a few years less control, do it in a heartbeat. I'd actively try to sell high, especially since he didn't face many lefties in his 3 appearances and his splitter, developed to get them out, was bad.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Certainly been posting a bunch about current matters for someone who has "honestly [...] paid almost zero attention this season."
As in I haven't watched many actual games, I'm still following the team; I no longer have NESN, I listen if I'm in the car, in doesn't mean I don't still follow them. It's a relative term, but thank you.
 

grimshaw

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Could not disagree more. If you get a surer bet, even with a few years less control, do it in a heartbeat. I'd actively try to sell high, especially since he didn't face many lefties in his 3 appearances and his splitter, developed to get them out, was bad.
How many guys are out there that fit your description? The guy would have to be entering arbitration and making significant money to punt. They'd also be able to do better than Tanner Houck. GM's don't deal over small sample sizes, particularly when watching the same thing we are.
 
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nvalvo

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Could not disagree more. If you get a surer bet, even with a few years less control, do it in a heartbeat. I'd actively try to sell high, especially since he didn't face many lefties in his 3 appearances and his splitter, developed to get them out, was bad.
35% of his PA were against lefties. Is that especially low?

He didn't show a big split in that limited sample: .114/.244/.200 vs righties; .111/.273/.167 vs lefties. The splitter didn't look like much, but the slider was effective against lefties, conceding a SLG of... zero in a small sample.

Look, I want him to start the season in Worcester. He needs to keep working on another pitch. But we need pre-arb SP so desperately that it would be hard to trade this guy unless someone else is valuing him as an ace.
 

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Look, I want him to start the season in Worcester. He needs to keep working on another pitch. But we need pre-arb SP so desperately that it would be hard to trade this guy unless someone else is valuing him as an ace.
I think this is exactly right. No one is going to argue that Houck needs to be kept because he's a better immediate option compared to a Carrasco or Musgrove. But the team lacks quality depth that can spend at least part of their time in Worcester. Ideally, Houck and Pivetta aren't needed early in the season and can be rotation depth that is a call-up away. In reality, one of them will be in the rotation at the start of the year but hopefully it won't be both. I envision a situation where the two of them combine as the #5 starter behind ERod, Eovaldi, Perez and an acquistion (Bauer being the best choice but not the only one), and then Sale steps in to further bolster things later in the year.
 

Twilight

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There may be some innings limitations to contend with next year, especially with the younger guys. If Sale is able to come back and join the starting rotation, someone at the back end could move to the bullpen, reducing their innings total for the year and hopefully bolstering the bullpen nicely.
 

Rovin Romine

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Look, I want him to start the season in Worcester. He needs to keep working on another pitch. But we need pre-arb SP so desperately that it would be hard to trade this guy unless someone else is valuing him as an ace.
I think an Anderson Espinoza type deal would be acceptable, if we were in a contention-window. Meaning, I wouldn't get upset if he was traded him now for 3 years of an established quality starting pitcher. Or that plus key parts (to fantasize.)

But I don't know if that urgency is really there. There are a lot of things which would have to break correctly for the 2021 season - Sale, E-Rod, Tendi, JDM. And we're not really at risk of losing a boatload of key talent in the next couple years. The most damaging one might be E-Rod, who is a free agent after next season (but Pedroia's 12 mil comes off the books at the same time).
 

chawson

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I think an Anderson Espinoza type deal would be acceptable, if we were in a contention-window. Meaning, I wouldn't get upset if he was traded him now for 3 years of an established quality starting pitcher. Or that plus key parts (to fantasize.)

But I don't know if that urgency is really there. There are a lot of things which would have to break correctly for the 2021 season - Sale, E-Rod, Tendi, JDM. And we're not really at risk of losing a boatload of key talent in the next couple years. The most damaging one might be E-Rod, who is a free agent after next season (but Pedroia's 12 mil comes off the books at the same time).
This framework is useful, but the difference I see is that Houck was never as highly regarded a prospect as Espinoza. (OTOH, AE was all distant projection, while we have at least some evidence that Houck can get major league hitters out.)

I've been comparing a possible Houck deal with the alternative history in which we traded Chavis -- who at least broke the Top #100 prospects list -- after his torrid first few weeks in the league. No one believed that Chavis was the monster he was the first few weeks, but a few may likely have seen him settling as a slugging-heavy .800 OPS infielder under team control for six years, which is very valuable. As of now, of course, he's one of the worst players in baseball.

It's a messy comparison since one is a hitter and the other a pitcher, but Houck's peripherals (.161 BABIP; decent-but-not-great 10.9 SwStr%; very low 35.8% of pitches in the strike zone) seem roughly analogous to Chavis's peripherals the summer of 2019. There's regression due there, plus we can expect that the league will adjust to him. That makes him dubious part of the short-term plan if we're going to compete in 2021 (and I think we can infer that we are, from the FO's statements and the non-trade of Bogaerts). The Pirates, however, might like Houck as a guy they can afford to spend 2-3 years tweaking to see if he's part of their next contention window, or flip to a contender in 2023. Meanwhile, Musgrove looks like he's about to break out.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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People have suggested giving a QO to JBJ. At $18.9, that’s too rich for my blood. I’ve been thinking more like a 2 yr, $10-12m each yr kind of deal at the most.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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People have suggested giving a QO to JBJ. At $18.9, that’s too rich for my blood. I’ve been thinking more like a 2 yr, $10-12m each yr kind of deal at the most.
What people? There's zero chance they give him a QO. It's not even worth discussing the possibility.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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What people? There's zero chance they give him a QO. It's not even worth discussing the possibility.
Here’s one (post #146):
Sandy Leon Trotsky said:
Seems all pretty obvious but I'll try to be more clear next time. I don't think JBJ will be getting more than a 2 year $25 (12.5 per) offer. Future is still uncertain... he's getting a little older and has proven to be inconsistent. I can imagine a team offering a one year deal at more than 12.5 though.
“I can imagine the Boston Red Sox offering him a qualifying offer. If he's back on an overpriced one-year deal (1/$18m instead of 1/$16m or whatever), so be it. That suits us fine.

If he turns it down and does actually get a three-year offer elsewhere, we get a much-needed compensatory draft pick.“

****

And I indicated that I also believed the QO to be too much, so... we’re in agreement??
 

chrisfont9

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This is fair. I'm not a huge believer in Houck and think there's some helium after those three starts that will fizzle out once teams learn not to chase. I could be wrong.



It wouldn't be so much the prospects as Bloom's payroll room doing the heavy lifting. I think the Sox are well poised to take on salary from small market teams who may be cutting costs in the pandemic, and especially if they teams believe they can spare a few expected wins and still make the playoffs in a new format.

If I'm reading that correctly, there'll be a greater pool of available players this winter, with some exclusively available to teams with payroll room to absorb their or another teammate's bad contracts. Trading for pitching also circumvents the task of convincing a free agent that we're going to be competitive in 2021, let alone outbidding. So guys like Musgrove, Carrasco, Marquez, and Jon Gray [edit: forgot he's hurt] come to mind, but there are other possibilities where less expensive pitchers are pinned to well salaried position players.

About Trevor Bauer, I admit he's not my type of guy. But that aside, I don't understand why people are overlooking his character issues. We just spent four years where half the fanbase was howling about Price -- by all accounts a good teammate -- for his relationship to the media. By contrast, Bauer has a pretty well documented track record of being a bad teammate, along with a climate change skeptic, a guy who's taken shots at Chris Sale, and who once spent a day harassing a college woman on Twitter. He's a good pitcher but I don't see how it's worth it.
There's a joke in there about a climate change denier who refuses to sign a longer term deal, but I just can't quite put my finger on it.
 

edoug

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There's a joke in there about a climate change denier who refuses to sign a longer term deal, but I just can't quite put my finger on it.
If things stay the same, it starts to get real hot. Not a really much of, or actually, a joke but it fits.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Here’s one (post #146):

“I can imagine the Boston Red Sox offering him a qualifying offer. If he's back on an overpriced one-year deal (1/$18m instead of 1/$16m or whatever), so be it. That suits us fine.

If he turns it down and does actually get a three-year offer elsewhere, we get a much-needed compensatory draft pick.“

****

And I indicated that I also believed the QO to be too much, so... we’re in agreement??
As I'm the quoted one here..... and it appears the only one that supports JBJ getting picked up on a one year qualifying offer.... I don't think $16-$18M is that bad at all for him but it might also depress a market for him elsewhere as I don't really see any other team offering him more than a 2 year $25M (12.5 per) deal.
It makes sense from the Sox position in that they could use him for one or two more years before expecting Duran to take over at CF (or address it elsewhere if he doesn't look ML-quality).
 

vadertime

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Pass on Sanchez. With E-Rod and Sale already huge question marks, and Eovaldi's injury history there are already enough unknowns going into the season. If/When they acquire a SP I want want that isn't a question mark.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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These are the types of acquisitions they should be doing. Low-money low risk deal with high upside due to last success.
Yeah, if it's low money, it's a no-brainer. Same thing they tried (and could try to do again) with Collin McHugh this season. You don't sign Sanchez expecting him to start 25+ games, you sign him as depth (6th/7th starter) hoping he forces his way into the rotation and throws as many innings as he can.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Not sure if Benindendi deserves his own thread or not... but this place seems appropriate. I'm not sure what to do with him..... this article covers it pretty thoroughly. I was REALLY bullish on him that he was going to have a breakout year before the Pandemic and then the garbage season (in which he looked like he was regressing even more!).
His trade value is very low right now so I don't see Bloom dealing him unless he's packaged with a promising prospect for anything that would be of value (since I'm not sure where the Sox stand on '21 being a "win now" season or another full rebuild season).
 

BaseballJones

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Benintendi is exactly the kind of guy the Sox should be trading for or looking to sign. Low cost, buying low, but big potential upside.

Of course, they already have him, so don't need to go get him.
 

Rovin Romine

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Not sure if Benindendi deserves his own thread or not... but this place seems appropriate. I'm not sure what to do with him.....
He'll stay, since his value is low. If he shines and the Sox tank in 2021, they can trade or extend, as appropriate. I'd do a modest extension now, if he'll bite.

Other than that, the Sox really need to make sure he's doing what he needs to this off-season to make sure he's healthy and in baseball shape for 2021. Rather than putting on more muscle.
 

johnnywayback

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Benintendi is exactly the kind of guy the Sox should be trading for or looking to sign. Low cost, buying low, but big potential upside.

Of course, they already have him, so don't need to go get him.
Totally agree with this, but if someone wants to make a challenge trade where we get a pitcher of similar value, that would allow us to sign Ozuna to play LF (and eventually DH after Martinez).
 

The Gray Eagle

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I assumed this Tampa team, which Bloom had a big hand in building, was mostly the result of strong drafting and developing. But they haven't actually drafted that well, not even as well as the Red Sox over the last 10 years, according to these numbers in The Athletic:

Since 2009, the Rays have had just 10 first-rounders reach the big leagues, with only Snell and Stanek being worth at least 1 WAR according to Baseball-Reference. In that same time, the Red Sox have gotten 14 first-rounders to the majors, and five have been worth more than 1 WAR. The Red Sox have also gotten more impact from their later-round selections (Betts being the most obvious example). The Rays haven’t been able to match that in recent years.
This version of the Rays hasn't been built on high draft picks from having terrible seasons, like their 2009 team was.

Since 2011, though, the Rays have picked in the top 10 only once, and their draft impact has fallen off sharply. They’re currently carrying only two of their own first-round picks. One is Cy Young winner Blake Snell – who actually was a supplemental-round pick, 52nd overall — but the other is reliever Shane McClanahan, who made his big league debut this postseason and isn’t exactly a key piece of the puzzle.

The other Rays draft picks on the current roster are third-rounder Brandon Lowe, fifth-rounder Josh Fleming and of course, Kiermaier. Thirteenth-round pick Nick Lowe got 67 at-bats during the regular season, but the Rays have not had a lot of draft success the past decade. They’re a small-market team having success despite their drafts, not because of them.
The article makes the case that these Rays are much more the result of smart trades than drafting.

The Rays ALCS roster included only five of their own draft picks, plus two of their international amateur free agents, and one undrafted player signed by the organization. The Red Sox had more homegrown than that this year.

So, how did the Rays build their roster if it isn’t homegrown? Through trades, mostly. Their ALCS roster included 14 players acquired via trade, and that was without three others who played fairly meaningful roles during the regular season. Where their player development program has succeeded best is in getting the most out of their acquired players.
This is actually a promising way to look at Bloom's record. If all his success at Tampa had been due to a long draft and development program, featuring multiple top 5 picks, that could take years and years of losing to set up in Boston. But that hasn't been the way this Tampa team has been put together.

Drafting and international signings are crucial, and you have to draft well. Hopefully Bloom will. But if he keeps making smart trades, that can have a quicker impact on the talent level than waiting for draft picks.

He's made some promising deals already this year, but those were all sell-off type deals for longer term improvement in building up the system. Now that he's got some payroll flexibility and we're going into a new season, one where we might actually have our top 2 starters for a lot of it, hopefully he'll make some moves that will have a shorter-term benefit.
 

jon abbey

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I assumed this Tampa team, which Bloom had a big hand in building, was mostly the result of strong drafting and developing....

But if he keeps making smart trades, that can have a quicker impact on the talent level than waiting for draft picks.
But many of the TB trades involved them sending a top prospect for someone already ready, that’s how they got Arozarena and Anderson and Fairbanks. So the drafting/developing is just as important, it’s just then utilized for a different purpose.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Yes, I specifically said that drafting international singings are crucial.

The point is Bloom has a strong record making great trades, and that is how the current Rays were built, more than on just drafting alone. That is promising for the Red Sox, because good trades can help a lot sooner than tanking and waiting for top 3 draft picks, which was how the previous Tampa pennant winner was built. Not this group that Bloom helped build, though.

And it's not like Bloom has only made good trades when trading his top prospects, he's made a lot of good trades in general, including a lot of small moves that were barely noticed when they were made. The article I linked gives some examples.

But that blockbuster happened during a 2018 trade deadline week when the Rays make five other trades, and those smaller deals are more indicative of the kind the Rays seem to have mastered. None really registered, at the time, as a singular pennant-winning move, but together they’ve let the Rays maintain a flow of young talent.
  • January 11, 2017: Ryan Yarbrough – When the Rays traded starter Drew Smyly to the Mariners, the primary return was center fielder Mallex Smith (who was eventually traded back to Seattle for current Rays catcher Mike Zunino). The real impact piece turned out to be Yarbrough, a largely unheralded fourth-round pick who didn’t reach the big leagues until he was 26 but has since become a key part of the Rays’ versatile pitching staff (29 starts and 48 relief appearances the past three years; one start and one five-inning relief appearance this postseason).
  • December 11, 2017: Joey Wendle – Almost 28 years old at the time, and with only 36 games of big league experience, Wendle was traded by the A’s for a player to be named later (which wound up being a backup catcher). He’s since become one of those prototypical Rays utility infielders, a light version of Ben Zobrist, who’s played five positions, hit for a little bit of power, and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting his first full season. He’s been their regular third baseman this postseason.
  • June 10, 2018: Ji-Man Choi – Choi had been a Rule 5 pick in 2015, played just six major league games in 2017, and had settled for a minor league deal before that 2018 season. The Rays got him for utility man Brad Miller, who’d been designated for assignment. Choi has become a mainstay as a platoon first baseman. He had an 1.145 OPS in the ALCS.
  • July 31, 2019: Nick Anderson – The Rays gave up a good outfield prospect plus a major league reliever to get Anderson and Trevor Richards from the Marlins. Anderson was a former independent league pitcher who’d been good in Miami, but he’s become dominant with the Rays. He pitched 19 times this season and allowed five hits. Five!
  • January 9, 2020: Randy Arozarena – The Rays gave up the 16th overall pick (pitcher Matthew Liberatore) to get Arozarena and DH Jose Martinez from the Cardinals. When Martinez had a down year and Arozarena developed COVID-19, it seemed like a bad deal, but Arozarena has emerged as a star in the playoffs. He’d been a good-not-great prospect out of Cuba, and the Rays were taking a bit of a chance giving up a highly regarded pitching prospect to get him, but he’s been worth the cost during this incredible month.

Far more roster spots are filled by players who were low-profile acquisitions. In some cases, about as low-profile as it gets.
  • Mike Brosseau – This is the guy who hit the series-winning home run off Aroldis Chapman in Game 5 of the division series. He’s been a go-to utilityman for two years, and he was originally an undrafted free agent signed out of obscurity in 2016. That’s about as out-of-nowhere as it gets. He might as well be Ryan Fitzgerald, the undrafted utility infielder the Red Sox signed in 2018, who last year was named their Minor League Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Ryan Thompson – The 28-year-old reliever got into his first 25 big league games this season, and he’s pitched six times in the postseason, including once as an opener. Pretty good for an Astros 23rd-round pick who came to the Rays as a minor league Rule 5 pick (which makes Thompson even more of a long shot than Red Sox major league Rule 5 pick Jonathan Arauz).
If Bloom’s first full offseason as chief baseball officer is any indication, the Red Sox will continue to search for similar you-just-never-know depth through waiver claims, tiny trades, minor league deals, and perhaps another Rule 5 pick. Those players rarely move the needle when they’re acquired, but if a handful of them can stick around, they can really fill in the edges of the roster and plug specific holes.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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St. Louis declined the option on Kolten Wong, who might be an interesting candidate for 2B.

View: https://twitter.com/markasaxon/status/1321565765431107591?s=20


Mark Saxon
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The #STLCards
declined Kolten Wong's $12.5 million option, costing them $1 million and making him a free agent.
Maybe if he comes dirt cheap. He's a great defender with a middling bat, but the Sox do have Arroyo with a similar profile (and 4 years younger) plus Downs waiting in the wings. Not sure 2B is where they need to be spending much money this winter.